Campaign of the Month: December 2013
Fate: Warhammer 40,000
Firing Starship Weapons
A starship’s orientation on the tactical chart determines what weapons can be brought to bear on which targets. At any time, a ship’s heading is directed toward one end of the chart. Zones closer to that end of the chart is ahead of the ship, and zones further away are astern. A ship’s orientation also considers whether or not it is presenting a broadside, a maneuver that angles that ship so that powerful broadside weaponry can be broad to bear.
Ships with prow mounted weapons favor aggressively closing in on enemy vessel, their weapons lighting up the void.
Prow weapons may fire at any zones ahead of the ship, plus its current zone.
Special: On smaller ships, certain weapons such as lances may only be mounted in a prow slot.
Stern mounted weapons are unconventional, but enjoy some popularity amongst transport vessels seeking deter pursuers as they attempt to make a get away.
Stern weapons may fire at any zones astern of the ship, plus its current zone.
On ships that support them, broadside weapons are powerful batteries that can unleash a torrent of unmitigated wrath at her foes. However, because of their orientation, they can be difficult to train on wily enemies. Unless the target is at point blank range, broadside weapons requires the ship to execute specific maneuvers to bring them to bear.
If the ship presents broadside this round, broadside weapons may fire at any zone on the chart.
If the ship did not present broadside this round, broadside weapons may fire at only the ship’s current zone.
Special: “Battery” weapons typically gain a bonus when fitted to a broadside slot. On larger ships, any weapons in a broadside slot may also gain a bonus.
Dorsal weapons are housed in immense traversing turrets toward the front of the ship. These dedicated platforms are typically only found on dedicated military vessel, and typically have traversal times measured in tens of minutes.
Dorsal weapons may fire at any zones ahead of the ship, plus its current zone. They may also target zones astern of the ship, but only during the Secondary Salvo phase, and does not benefit from aiming.
Hitting at Point Blank Range
Range 0 is considered within the fire arc of all weapons. Broadside and dorsal weapons may be brought to bear at any target. However, all prow weapons must target a single vessel, and all stern weapons must target a single different vessel.
To fire a weapon, make an attack roll using its Fire Control Rating. Each weapon is defended by one of the defender’s Ratings, as specified by the weapon. For example, Macrocannon batteries shell a target over tens of minutes, and is virtually impossible to miss; hence they are defended by an Armor roll. Lance weapons are powerful beam weapons that may only get two firing cycles every hour, and so can be defeated by a skillful Maneuver check.
If the attack roll at least ties the defense roll, then the excess shifts are taken as stress damage by the defender, plus an amount equal to the weapon’s Damage Rating. Starship weapons suffer from Glancing Blows, and the Damage Rating cannot contribute more shifts than the number of shifts the original attack generated. If the original attack was a tie, and the Damage Rating is at least 1, then it inflicts one point of stress.
The defender can split incoming damage between the Void Shields and Hull tracks however they wish. They may also Take Consequences to reduce stress damage (see below). If they cannot absorb enough stress, then they are Taken Out, which is to say the defending starship is hulked or destroyed.
Each starship has a number of Consequence slots. Unlike characters, Consequences on a starship are not aspects. Rather, each is filled by a Critical Damage that inflict penalties on the starship while they are present: The Critical Damage may be renamed to reflect the nature of the Consequence.
|Critical Damage: Primary System Crippled-2 to a System Rating.|
|Critical Damage: Defensive System FailingDisables the use of the highest box on a stress track.|
|Critical Damage: Weapon System DisabledDisables a weapon component.|
|Critical Damage: Special Component DisabledDisables a special component.|
By default, the defender selects the type of Critical Damage sustained (and optionally renames it); this absorbs 2 points of damage. However, the defend may yield the pick to the attacker (along with the option to rename it); this allows the Consequence to absorb 4 points of damage.
If a consequence is taken, 1 damage is also dealt to the Crew stress track. Overflowing the Crew Stress Track does not cause additional consequences. Rather, the defender chooses one of the following effects:
|Heavy CasualtiesDisable one Crew Stunt as specialist crew members are killed, or heavy casualties force them to man other stations. This effect lasts until it is recovered.|
|Crew ShockIn the next round, this ship may be freely compelled to fail to act during a phase. This may happen only once per round.|
Minor Consequences are temporary damage that can be easily repaired after a battle. Moderate Consequences are more significant damage that requires time to repair. Severe Consequences represent significant damage to equipment, and may require drydock facilities for repairs, which may cost the rogue trader a portion of their earnings.